“Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation, and consensus.”
The quotation of Simon Mainwaring above echoed the main objective of Maruf, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions fellow at the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment, Milan on his mission to Nigeria for ECO-innovation and the Dynamics of External Knowledge Sourcing (ECO-DEKS) project. ECO-DEKS is a project sponsored by the European Commission under a research grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
For ECO-DEKS project to create the desired change and make significant impacts, the Fellow understands that he needs to create a lot of awareness about the project among the key stakeholders such as the academics, industry practitioners, entrepreneurs, captains of the industries, policy makers, industry associations, top government officials, industry regulators, citizens etc. With this understanding in mind, the first project activity the Fellow undertook when he got to Nigeria was to organize a seminar where he shared the motivation and objectives of ECO-DEKS with the academic community for comments and actionable suggestions. The seminar took place at the Seminar Room A of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Nigeria and it was well attended by researchers. There were cross-fertilizations of ideas on the project and many researchers at the seminar were eager to learn more about the project.
In addition to the presentation by Maruf on the external knowledge sourcing strategies for environmental innovation in the industrial sector of Nigeria, the fellow also invited a seasoned researcher, Dr. Abiodun Egbetokun who has won many grant awards to join him and train members of the academic community on how to apply for similar research programmes under Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Some of the highlights of the grant writing training were discussions on the determinants of funding success such as scientific merit of proposals, fit of proposed research to mission/needs of funders, composition of team members etc. He also talked about the three golden rules of applying for grants which comprise of having a good research idea, starting proposal early and having a very sound methodology. The seminar/training workshop ended with Maruf discussing how to apply and write proposal for MSCA research projects. He gave the overview of the MSCA and stated the eligibility of researchers and criteria for assessing proposals for individual fellowships under MSCA. A lot of participants expressed interest in the MSCA programme as an individual and as an institution.
In order to have an effective transition to green economy in Nigeria, there has to be a drastic change which would be almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation, and consensus to borrow some of the words of Simon Mainwaring, one of the consultants to Fortune 500 companies. It is with this hindsight that the Fellow discussed his project among the key players in the industrial sector of Nigeria during an invited workshop on the Dissemination of the Outcomes of the Nigeria business innovation survey 2020. The Fellow received valuable inputs to his projects during and after his presentation. Government at different levels must find a way to broker an industry-wide collaboration such as this for effective transitioning to green economy.